Flip through the pages of this glossary and educate yourself
on SRHR and advocacy terms and definitions.



A sexual orientation whereby a male-identified person is aesthetically, romantically, sensually, and/or sexually attracted to other male-identified persons. It is important to note that not all men who engage in sexual activities with other men identify as gay. In some contexts the term gay is also used to refer to the LGBTQ community as a whole, or as a label for anyone who does not identify as heterosexual.

See also: AttractionSexual Orientation


The term gender refers to the attitudes, feelings, and behaviors that a given society or community associates with a person’s real or perceived biological sex. For example, in American popular culture girls are often portrayed as liking the color pink or as being more caring and nurturing than boys. Furthermore, someone’s gender can have a significant impact on their relationships, opportunities, and even on how they move around. The way that gender is defined in a given place can therefore result in discrimination and inequality. For example, if girls are kept at home to help their mothers take care of the household while boys are sent to school, boys will be more likely to find jobs and earn more money than girls. This is a form of gender inequality.  Gender characteristics can change over time and vary between cultures. For this reason, gender is referred to as being socially constructed – while gender might feel ‘natural’ or ‘normal’ the way that we see gender is created and enacted by people.

See also: Gender Binary, Gender Identity, Gender Expression, Sex

Gender Binary

The belief that there are only two genders, male/female or man/woman, and that everyone falls, or should fall, into one of these categories.

See also: Discrimination, Gender

Gender Confirming Surgery

Sometimes referred to as ‘Sex Reassignment Surgery’, this term encompasses a series of medical procedures which changes a person’s body so that it more accurately fits with their gender identity and/or gender expression (e.g. breast augmentation or removal, altering one’s genitals, altering ones face etc.).  It is important to note that not everyone who is transgender chooses to or are able to undergo one or all of these procedures.

See also: Gender Identity, Gender Expression, Transgender

Gender Discrimination

Discrimination based on one’s real or perceived gender. Gender discrimination can affect many different things, from the way a person is treated to the opportunities a person has.

See also: Discrimination, Gender, Gender Equality, Gender Equity, Stigma

Gender Equality

Gender equality is a situation whereby everyone, regardless of their real or perceived gender identity and gender expression, has equal conditions for realizing their full potential and their human rights, and are able to contribute to, and benefit from, economic, social, cultural, and political development. Everyone is free to develop their personal abilities and to make choices without the constraints of stereotypes and prejudices.

See also: Gender, Gender Equity, Substantive Equality

Gender Equity

Gender equity, also referred to sometimes as substantive equality, moves beyond legal or formal gender equality by arguing that in order to reach a situation of true gender equity, certain marginalized groups may require temporary special measures to compensate for historical and/or systemic discrimination.

See also: Gender, Gender Equality, Substantive Equality

Gender Expression

The way in which a person represents or expresses their gender through clothing, behavior, posture, mannerisms, speech patterns, activities and more. A person’s gender expression may or may not be consistent with socially prescribed gender roles, and may or may not reflect their gender identity.

See also: Gender, Gender Identity

Gender Identity

A person’s deeply felt and experienced sense of their own gender. Because gender identity is internal, it is not necessarily visible or obvious to everyone else, and may not align with one’s gender expression and/or body.

See also: Gender, Gender Expression

Gender Non-Conforming

A person whose gender expression is different from societal gender norms. For example, in a society which expects people to either dress ‘like a man’ or ‘like a woman’ someone who adopts both (or neither) male and female ways of behaving/dressing would be considered non-conforming.

See also: Gender, Gender Binary, Gender Expression, Gender Identity, Gender Normative

Gender Normative

A person who by nature or by choice conforms to the gender based expectations of society. Also referred to as ‘Genderstraight’.

See also: Gender, Gender Identity, Gender Expression, Gender Norms

Gender Norms

Gender norms are the socially prescribed attributes and behaviors that are considered the generally accepted 'norm' (the normal situation) based on a person’s real or perceived gender identity and expression, and/or biological sex. Gender norms vary across communities and may change over time. Put simply, gender norms are a specific society’s ideas of   how people should look, think and act. Gender norms are often internalized at an early age, making them seem ‘normal’ and ‘natural’. Gender norms often greatly contribute to gender discrimination and inequality, and can be damaging for people who do not conform to them (and to those who do).

See also: Gender, Gender Binary, Gender Expression, Gender Identity, Gender Normative

Gender Roles

This term is very much related to gender norms – gender roles are the socially prescribed behaviors that are considered normal based on a person’s real or perceived gender identity and expression, and/or biological sex. Like gender norms, gender roles vary between different groups and may change over time. For example, in some societies it is seen as a woman’s role to care for children or clean.

See also: Gender, Gender Norms, Gender Discrimination

Get Up Speak Out (GUSO)

Get Up Speak Out (GUSO) is a joint program of six NGOs (Aids Fonds, CHOICE for Youth & Sexuality, dance4life, IPPF, Simavi, Rutgers WPF) and their partners in the global South, that aims to empower all young people, especially young women and girls, to realise their Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) in societies that are positive about young people’s sexuality. The GUSO program is working in seven countries in Africa and Asia: Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, Pakistan and India. To reach this long-term objective, the GUSO program employs five different strategies: building sustainable alliances, ensuring meaningful youth participation (MYP), comprehensive sexuality education (CSE), youth-friendly services (YFS), and advocacy. The GUSO program is implemented in partnership with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and runs from 2016-2020.

Group of 20

The Group of 20, or G20, is composed of the following members: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union. The G20 was formed in 1999 with the aim of reviewing and promoting high-level discussion of policy issues related to the promotion of international financial stability.

Group of 7/8

The Group of 7 (formerly G6, and G8) or G7 is an inter-governmental political forum composed of six nations (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom, United States) and the European Union. The Russian Federation was part of the G8 but was suspended in 2014 making it the G7. Combined, the members of G8 made up half of the global GDP. Occasionally this group includes five developing countries, Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa, known as the Outreach Five. These meetings are sometimes referred to as G8+5.

Group of 77

The Group of 77, or G77 at the United Nations (UN) is a loose coalition of developing nations, which was formed to promote their collective interests and enhance their negotiating capacity at the UN. Formed in 1964 the group has now expanded to include 134 member countries.

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